Cancer Research Center of Languedoc-Roussillon starts TrueBeam radiotherapy

18 December 2011

A 19-year-old brain tumour patient has become the first person in France to be treated using the TrueBeam radiotherapy treatment system from Varian Medical Systems.

The male patient’s cerebral glioblastoma was treated at the Cancer Research Center of Languedoc-Roussillon at the Centre Val d’Aurelle, Montpellier. Following this initial treatment, dozens more patients have been treated using the newly-deployed device, one of three acquired by the hospital.

“We believe that the system’s dose delivery speed and its unique ability to image the patient during the treatment will bring considerable benefits for our patients,” says Professor Jean-Bernard Dubois, head of radiotherapy. “With TrueBeam we are able to image the tumor during the treatment and adapt the treatment delivery in ‘real-time’, which helps to better target the tumor and limit damage to surrounding healthy organs.”

Dr. Pascal Fenoglietto, head of research of the hospital’s physics department, said the TrueBeam, which is now treating 20 patients a day, can deliver dose up to six times more quickly than other treatment devices, enabling much greater throughput at the busy hospital. “We considered other systems but it was clear that TrueBeam can achieve the same treatment quality in a dramatically shorter time,” he said. The hospital is currently installing two more TrueBeam devices, one of them a TrueBeam STx which is especially configured for stereotactic radiosurgical treatments. 

Designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer, the TrueBeam platform for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery is a fully-integrated radiotherapy system designed from the ground up to treat a moving target with speed and precision. It features a High Intensity Mode—one of six dose levels available to doctors with the TrueBeam platform—for customizing dose delivery based on a patient’s specific tumor characteristics.

The Centre Val d’Aurelle, which delivers radiotherapy treatments for 2,000 new cancer patients each year, was one of the first hospitals in France to introduce IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy) ten years ago and has now become the first to offer TrueBeam treatments.

“We intend to use our TrueBeam devices to treat all forms of cancer, especially those that involve tumor motion, and it enables us to use more complex techniques for the benefit of our patients,” said Professor David Azria, head of radiobiology and translational research.

 “We see TrueBeam as the future development platform in linear accelerators and we wish to be up-to-date for the next ten years.”
Designed to be a versatile platform, a TrueBeam system can be used for all forms of advanced external-beam radiotherapy including image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery (IGRT and IGRS), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery (SBRT/SRS) and RapidArc radiotherapy.

The first treatment at Centre Val d’Aurelle was a RapidArc treatment, an approach used at the hospital since 2008. RapidArc enables image-guided IMRT treatments to be delivered in a continuous rotation of the machine around the patient, rather than using multiple discreet beam delivery angles, making it possible to complete treatments quickly and efficiently in a matter of minutes.

Youssef Rihane, Varian’s France regional director, said, “This hospital has a long history of pioneering radiotherapy treatments, having treated 2,000 patients with IMRT since 2001 including 1,000 with RapidArc, and we are delighted to be working with them to bring state-of-the-art TrueBeam radiotherapy and radiosurgery to this region.”

Source: Varian Medical Systems

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